I’ve been collecting quotations since I was five years old—my mum and I have always found joy through our shared love of them. I found early on that quotations could shift your mood, perspective, and vibe altogether. They’ve anchored me and brought me peace. I would even go so far as to say that during various traumas, when I was feeling scared about the future, repeating them saved me.
I still consider the wisdom I learned from authors, philosophers, and big thinkers the basis of my perspective. Here are 11 quotations to move you to live more fully and impactfully this year:
1. “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” — Mary Oliver
Yep. There’s only one. We forget that. We even “wait” for life to begin. Are you maximizing your one time visiting this Earth? Squandering it? It is precious. How can you be most present, alive, even… wild version of yourself? The world is big and YOU—your existence—is also big.
2. “A person will be called to account on Judgment Day for every permissible thing he might have enjoyed but did not.” — The Talmud
I love this quote! What are you not enjoying? What do you take for granted or skip over because you’re in a bad mood? What are you not fully seeing and experiencing? The purpose of life is joy.
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3. “The whole future lies in uncertainty: Live immediately.” — Seneca
Real talk. Fear falls away in the face of this reminder. There is no certainty of even a next year. Why are you waiting to be fulfilled, content, adventurous? The future is guaranteed to no one. We have no idea how many days we have left on planet Earth. This day is your life!
4. “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” — John A. Shedd
This exemplifies us playing small and safe out of fear of harm. But that’s not why we’re alive! The purpose of life is not to make it through unscathed. Are you in port or out at sea—where you ought to be?
5. “The definition of hell: On your last day on Earth, the person you could have become will meet the person you became.” — Anon
This quote makes me think of the small dash between the dates that will appear on our gravestones one day. Small. Undramatic. And yet – everything. What are you doing with your dash? How will you feel about it 20, 30, 40 years from now? What are you doing to regret-proof your life? Are you using your talents and skills, and acting on your dreams? Are you living the fullest version of your life or a shadow version of it? Are you living the experiences that you know are waiting within you?
6. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the one who’ll decide where to go… ” — Dr. Seuss
Yep. You have all the power. Your head. Your feet. Your path. Other people can walk it with you, but no one else can walk it for you. You’re 100-percent responsible for your life. And what a relief that is.
7. “If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.” — Lemony Snicket
All you need is the courage to say yes to life. Here’s a little secret: No one ever feels ready, ever. They just do the damn thing anyway.
8. “Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.” — Rumi
You were born with greatness within you. Stop apologizing. Stop acting small. You, like every other being, are part of this beautiful universe. You are meant to be here. Enjoy your time hurtling around this rock that circles the sun in this infinite universe. Just remembering what we’re a part of can astound and awaken us. Just look at the stars for 20 seconds at night.
9. “Close all your escape routes, burn all your plan Bs, and get busy doing that dream that only you were built to do.” — Robin Sharma
The secret to a lot of success is focusing on what only you can do. What is your unique thing? I found out all of my true strengths chasing down my passion with my side hustle.
10. “Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” — J.K. Rowling
Action wins. Self-belief rules. Where can you apply more nerve? Try it. I dare you. Ask someone one. Go for gold with that pay increase. Start that passion project and watch your business take off. Once you just do it, the results are likely to startle you.
11. “I don’t like to gamble, but if there’s anything I’m willing to bet on, it’s myself.” — Beyoncé
You are your very best asset. It always has been and always will be you. Well said, Queen Bey.
Want more quotes to inspire you to live bigger? Grab my collection!
Susie Moore is Greatist’s life coach columnist and a confidence coach in New York City. Sign up for free weekly wellness tips on her website and check back every Tuesday for her latest No Regrets column!